In 2018, new rules and requirements were put in place for the passport you need when traveling by airplane, both outside the United States and domestically. This is mostly because the REAL ID Act was implemented by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

One of the changes that were implemented is that residents of some states will need their passports when traveling inside the US. Hence, we comprised a list of things that you might want to know about the US passport:

1. Domestic Travel

Generally, it is good for you to bring your passport to every foreign country that you visit, including Mexico and Canada. Of course, US territories are not foreign countries, hence you will not always need a passport to travel to the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, or the North Mariana Islands.

But, with the implementation of the new regulations, you might be required to show your passport to fly domestically.

U.S. Passport Rules have changed


2. Passport photos

You will no longer be allowed to wear eyeglasses in a photo for your passport unless it is for medical reasons. If you need to wear them for medical reasons, you will need to have a doctor’s note with you and submit it when you apply for a new passport.

Also, the State Department started denying thousand of photographs due to the quality being low, hence, before you submit your passport application, make sure that your photo has all the necessary requirements before you submit it.

3. Security problems

In July 2016, passports received a major makeover, including the application of a new computer-readable chip that will have all the person’s biometric data on it. This recent technology increases security and lowers the risks of fraud. Also, according to the State Department, more advanced technology will be arriving soon.

4. The pages and design of the passport

The new passport will have a protective coating on the outer side, which will provide protection against water damage and it will also make the document less likely to wrap or bend. However, one downside might be that it contains fewer pages, making it more disappointing for people who are frequent travelers.

U.S. Passport Rules have changed

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5. Passport renewals and application

In order to apply for a passport, you will need to have a specific form of ID, a regulation-compliant photo and the application form needs to be filled out properly, as well as printed. Additionally, you need to apply in person at a United States passport office or a United States post office if this is your first passport or if you have less than 16 years.

You will also be able to renew your passport, unless it was issued more than 15 years ago, stolen, damaged, lost, if you have changed your name, and if it was issued before you turned 16.


As you can see, this list contains some changes that you might want to know about the United States passport, the photos that go with it, as well as how it is renewed or issued. If you need or want to find out more about passport, check out